Meal Ideas 21 March 2019

Perk Up Your Picnic

(Family Features) Warm weather is here, and there is no better time for a picnic at your local park or beach. Quick and simple recipes are the way to go, but the typical bologna sandwich doesn't always stimulate the taste buds. This season, experiment with new recipes and flavors, and make your casual alfresco dining experience extra special.

By adding a few key ingredients to seasonal favorites, you have the power to transform everyday recipes into delicious dishes the whole family will enjoy. Here are some great examples on how to plus up an otherwise run of the mill picnic.

For a twist on the classic barbecue chicken, opt for a Grilled Herbed Chicken, seasoned with Grey Poupon Dijon mustard and Italian spices. But, don't let those leftovers go to waste. The chicken can be refrigerated for up to two days and made into a quick-and-easy Caesar salad with the addition of romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing and grated Parmesan cheese.

Instead of ordinary potato salad, try the Butter Bean Salad on for size. Chock full of ham, butter beans, sun-dried tomatoes and red onions, this recipe adds a touch of mustard and cilantro to really titillate your taste buds and give you a side dish full of flavor.

Finally, kick your lunch up a notch and enjoy a Cheddar, Bacon and Pear Sandwich, made with Harvest Coarse Ground Mustard. Whole mustard seeds paired with fresh ingredients create a crisp, robust flavor. Perfect for the family on the go, this gourmet goodie can be prepared in only five minutes.

For more ideas on how to spice up your picnic, visit www.greypoupon.com.

Picnic Food Safety

  • Cool It: Store perishable foods in plenty of coolers with ice or frozen gel packs. Keep the food at 40°F. A full cooler stays colder longer than a partially filled one. Carry the cooler inside the air-conditioned car, and keep it in the shade when you reach your destination. Use separate coolers for drinks so the food container won't be opened and closed.
  • Two Hour Rule: Don't leave perishable food out for more than two hours. (Cold foods should not sit out for more than one hour.) Any leftovers that have been sitting out longer than that should be discarded.
  • Proper Prepping: Wash hands before preparing food, and make sure storage containers are clean. Cooked foods need to be properly cooled - spread the food out in as many pans as needed so that it is no more than two inches deep. This allows it to cool faster, reducing the chances of bacteria growing.

Cheddar, Bacon & Pear Sandwich

Makes 1 serving

  • 2 slices fully cooked bacon
  • 2 slices French bread
  • 1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground Mustard
  • 1 slice (1 ounce) sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 of a medium pear, thinly sliced
  1. Heat bacon as directed on package.
  2. Spread bread slices with mustard. Top 1 of the bread slices with cheese, pears and bacon.
  3. Cover with remaining bread slice.

Grilled Herbed Chicken

Makes 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 pounds)
  1. Heat grill to medium heat.
  2. Combine mustard, water and dressing mix in shallow dish. Add chicken; turn over to evenly coat both sides.
  3. Grill chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until done (165°F).

Butter Bean Salad

Makes 8 servings

  • 1/4 cup Grey Poupon Hearty Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) butter beans, drained
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce package boiled ham, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Mix mustard, oil and lemon juice until well blended; set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add mustard mixture; toss to coat. Cover.
  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Spiced Lemonade

Makes 1 serving

Wash down your meal with a twist on the classic summertime libation, Spiced Lemonade. This surprisingly refreshing treat, bursting with fruit flavors, is made with lemonade, gin and Dijon mustard. Top with mint, the perfect finishing touch for a warm-weather cocktail.

  • 1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Dijon
  • 1/2 cup lemonade
  • 1/2 cup spiced gin
  • 1 slice each: lemon, lime and orange
  • 1 slice cucumber
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  1. Mix mustard, lemonade and gin. Serve over ice cubes in tall glass.
  2. Add fruit and cucumber slices.
  3. Top with mint.

Source: Grey Poupon

Dessert 31 August 2018

From Orchard to Pie: Apple Pies Made Easy!

(Family Features) Crisp air, changing colors, orchards teeming with ripe apples - all sure signs of autumn. Usher in the fall harvest season by spending an afternoon with the family picking apples, and then rewarding yourself with a delectable home-baked pie.

It's easy to save time in the kitchen by starting with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts. Just unroll a crust into your favorite pie plate, spoon in a sweet apple filling, bake and serve. Add a delicious twist to the classic apple pie with a number of complementary and favorite fall flavors - such as cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, streusel, pecans and even cranberries.

From picking apples to baking a pie and enjoying it with family and friends, all in a matter of hours - any way you slice it, it's a delicious time of year. Here are a few Pillsbury pie recipes to get you started baking apple pies now. For more ideas, visit www.pillsbury.com/pie.

Festive Apple-Berry Pie

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 5 to 6 cups sliced peeled apples (5 to 6 medium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. In 1-quart saucepan, mix cranberries, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and water. Heat to boiling. Boil 5 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan.
  3. In large bowl, mix apples, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg until apples are coated.
    Stir in cooled cranberry mixture. Spoon into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.
  4. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.

Perfect Apple Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours
8 servings

  • 1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

Filling

  • 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
  2. In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust.
  3. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; ?ute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.
  4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch-wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.

Tip: Two cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling can be substituted for the filling.

Caramel-Apple Streusel Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 3 hours
8 servings

  • 6 cups sliced peeled ripe apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold butter or margarine
  • 18 caramels, unwrapped
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, mix apples and lemon juice. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
    Add to apples; stir gently. Let stand 15 minutes. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Pour apple mixture into pastry-lined pie plate.
  2. In small bowl, mix oats, flour and 3 tablespoons sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Cut second crust into wedges; arrange wedges in an alternate pattern across the mixture.
  3. Bake 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat caramels and milk over low heat until caramels are melted. Stir until smooth; add pecans. Drizzle over pie. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours.

Source:  Pillsbury

Meal Ideas 01 June 2018

Savoring Salad Season

(Family Features) Even though salads can be enjoyed year-round, the warmer months signal salad season for some fans of al fresco dining. Barbecues, family reunions, picnics, potlucks, block parties, pool parties or simple family dinners are a few reasons to savor the season, and all are ideal occasions to serve a salad.

This versatile Middle Eastern-Inspired Bean Salad can be assembled ahead of time and served chilled or at room temperature.

Beginning with a can of READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad can help streamline prep and provide a pleasing flavor to complement the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and mint in the salad. The hummus-based dressing combined with a traditional Middle Eastern spice blend gets a bright accent from a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Colorful Pickled Beet and Red Quinoa Salad is also an option that can be served chilled or at room temperature, and can make for a vegetarian main dish or side salad.

At just the right size for a salad, Aunt Nellie’s Whole Baby Pickled Beets are teamed with red quinoa and punctuated with chickpeas, almonds and feta. The fresh orange vinaigrette helps tie the flavors together.

For additional salad inspiration, visit READSalads.com and AuntNellies.com.
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Middle Eastern-Inspired Bean Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad
  • 1/2       cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1          small cucumber (4-5 inches long), cut in half lengthwise then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2          green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1          small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Dressing:

  • 2          tablespoons prepared hummus
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2   teaspoon za'atar seasoning blend
  1. Drain bean salad. Discard liquid. Place bean salad in large bowl.
  2. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onions, parsley, mint, garlic and red pepper flakes to bean salad. Toss to combine.
  3. To make dressing: Combine hummus, lemon juice and seasoning; set aside.
  4. Add dressing to salad just before serving; toss to combine well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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Pickled Beet and Red Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 8

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4       cup fresh orange juice
  • 1          tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil

Salad:

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Baby Whole Pickled Beets
  • 1          can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2       cup red quinoa, cooked according to package directions (about 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2       cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1/3       cup crumbled reduced-fat or traditional feta cheese
  • 1          tablespoon orange zest
  1. To make vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange zest, black pepper, salt, if desired, and olive oil; set aside.
  2. To make salad: Drain beets. Place in large bowl; set aside.
  3. Add chickpeas, green onion, parsley and quinoa to beets. Add vinaigrette; toss to combine well.
  4. Just before serving, add almonds to salad; toss to combine well. Sprinkle with feta cheese and orange zest. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Source: Seneca Foods

Healthy 06 February 2019

Ingredients Matter

Add nutritious, natural ingredients for a healthier you

(Family Features) When it comes to making tasty meals for your family, you probably know that ingredients matter. From vitamins and nutrients to sugar and acidity, it’s important to know what you’re using in your recipes at every meal and how each ingredient can impact all parts of the body.

To help understand how ingredients matter and how quality ingredients can keep your body healthy, consider these tips from registered dietitian, celebrity nutritionist and healthy cooking expert Keri Glassman, MS, RDN.

  1. Mind your veggies. Nearly everyone knows veggies are a vital part of any healthy diet. They are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and pack loads of fiber, but not everyone knows what health benefits you get from specific vegetables. For example, Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamin C to support your immune health and dried figs are known for lowering blood pressure and optimizing digestion.
  1. Just add lemon. Water with lemon can aid in digestion and boost your immune system due to its high vitamin C content, so adding it to water is one way to reap these benefits. While including lemons in your diet has its perks, it’s also important to know they are acidic in nature and eating highly acidic foods can impact your oral health.
  1. Be mindful of acid attacks. Every day, everyone’s mouths go through hundreds of “acid attacks,” mainly due to eating and drinking. While a variety of foods can have positive health benefits, they also carry acids that can weaken tooth enamel. To help combat this, take advantage of the acid-neutralizing power of baking soda, an ingredient found in Arm & Hammer Toothpastes. Baking soda helps neutralize acids, while gently cleaning and removing plaque, so your teeth and gums stay healthy and strong. Find more information at ArmandHammer.com.
  1. Say hello to healthy fats. Nuts carry healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for cardiovascular health, mental health and cholesterol, so they can be a natural component for a healthy diet. Fat can be your friend, but stay mindful about not going overboard, as the calories can add up fast.
  1. Avoid added sugar. Sugar can cause inflammation in people’s bodies and is known to potentially impact cardiovascular health and weight, and can have a negative effect on our teeth. Sugar is often a sneaky ingredient that can be found in condiments and salad dressings. Avoid added sugar by making homemade dressings using lemon juice, oil and herbs, or checking labels to make sure you avoid added sugar whenever possible.

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pecorino and Hazelnuts

Recipe courtesy of Keri Glassman, MS, RDN

Lemon Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup olive oil
  • 1/4       cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

  • 1/2       cup hazelnuts, lightly crushed
  • olive oil, to taste
  • rosemary, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4          cups shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2       cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1/3       cup finely sliced red onion
  • 4          tablespoons Lemon Dressing
  • 1          grapefruit, segmented
  • 1/3       cup shredded pecorino cheese
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. To make Lemon Dressing: mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  3. On lined baking sheet, toss hazelnuts with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Roast 10-15 minutes, or until lightly brown; let cool.
  5. In large mixing bowl, toss roasted hazelnuts, Brussels sprouts, figs, red onion and dressing until combined.
  6. Plate about 1/4 of mixed salad, top with a few grapefruit segments and sprinkle with
  7. cheese.

Source: Arm & Hammer Toothpaste

Snacks 17 January 2019

Smarter Snacking with Nutrition in Mind

(Family Features) Planning health-conscious New Year’s resolutions typically includes cutting back on unhealthy foods during meals from breakfast to dinner. However, it’s also important to cut out sugary, calorie-laden snacks that can counteract all your hard work throughout the rest of the day.

Rather than skipping snacks entirely, it’s possible to instead incorporate nutritious options that pack protein to help you recharge without going overboard on calories, sodium and sugars. Opt for quick bites like Baked White Bean and Artichoke Dip paired with light, crunchy, low-sugar crackers to get the fuel you need between meals.

This snack idea can be especially filling yet nutritious when you dip with an option like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers, made with wholesome ingredients crafted to fit healthy, active lifestyles. With five grams of plant-based protein per serving, the cholesterol-free crackers can aid in providing energy without unnecessary sugars.

As you take steps to incorporate a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, be sure to take into account healthy activities along with nutritious eating habits from the first meal of the day to the last, and each snack in-between.

For more nutritious snacking ideas and recipes, visit crunchmaster.com.

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Baked White Bean and Artichoke Dip with Crackers

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          can (15 ounces) organic white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1          can (14 fluid ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3       cup olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1          package (3.54 ounces) Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers in Roasted Garlic flavor
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In food processor, puree beans, artichokes, olive oil, 1 tablespoon chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne until smooth. Scrape into 4-cup baking dish and smooth over top.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with crackers.

Tip: Substitute parsley or mint for chives, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 200 calories; 10 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 580 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 7 g protein.

Source: Crunchmaster

Dessert 20 September 2018

Lemon Cream Puffs

You don't have to be a pastry chef to make these delicious little beauties.  With a hint of lemon, these light and fluffy puffs will be a hit at your next gathering.

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Lemon Cream Puffs

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Eggs

LEMON FILLING:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour all at once, stirring until a smooth ball forms. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush water over parchment paper. Fill piping bags with pastry dough and pipe circle swirls 3 inches apart.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks.
  4. For filling, in a small heavy saucepan, combine beaten egg, sugar, lemon juice and butter. Slowly cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer to a small bowl; refrigerate until partially set. Whisk again to make sure ingredients are mixed well.
  5. In a large bowl, beat whipped cream and sugar until stiff peaks form; fold in lemon mixture.
  6. Fill pastry bag with lemon filling. Split pastry puffs. Pipe lemon filling onto pastry bottoms, replace pastry tops. Dust with powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Source: Culinary.net

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Meal Ideas 25 June 2018

Good-for-You Meals with Grape Taste

(Family Features) When it comes to balancing heart-healthy meals with appealing flavors, it’s important to lean on nutritious ingredients that pack mouthwatering taste. For example, grapes are a delicious yet subtle way to incorporate a little something extra into your diet while adding a juicy burst of flavor.

Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – can be enjoyed as a ready-to-eat, on-the-go food anytime and anywhere. Grapes are also a healthy choice, as they’re a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, and contain no fat and virtually no sodium.

Because of their versatility, heart-healthy grapes can also be used as an ingredient to add fresh appeal, vibrant color and a light touch of sweetness to almost any dish, like Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes or Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes. For something quick and nutritious featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, try this Vegetarian Poke Bowl with tofu, fresh grapes, avocado and crunchy, raw beets and carrots.

Grape Goodness for Healthy Aging

In addition to helping maintain heart health, grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. A review of the science linking the consumption of grapes to health highlights grapes’ potential to impact many areas of health, according to research published in “Grapes and Health: A Monograph.” The evidence that grapes support heart health is well-established, and emerging research in other areas of health suggests that grapes’ ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, among others.

Find more recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

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Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
  • 2          packages (6 ounces each) extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 2          cups red California grapes, halved
  • 1          avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1          large golden beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1          large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
  • 6          ounces light Asian ginger-sesame salad dressing
  1. Divide rice between four bowls and arrange tofu, grapes, avocado, beets and carrots on top. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds; serve with dressing.

Nutritional information per serving: 620 calories; 19 g protein; 101 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (25% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 450 mg sodium; 11 g fiber.

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Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes

Prep time: 10 minutes            
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound cod loin, cut into four equal pieces
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1          tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon orange juice
  • 1          tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1          medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, chopped and reserved
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
  2. In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, orange zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto cod in equal amounts. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
  3. While cod is baking, in small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice, shallot, coriander, honey and oregano; set aside. Halve and core fennel bulb then thinly slice and place in separate bowl. Add grapes and dressing; toss to combine.
  4. Serve cod topped with fennel and grape salad. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 19 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 45 mg cholesterol; 240 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.

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Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          large spaghetti squash
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2       cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 2          cups packed basil leaves
  • 1          cup packed arugula
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2    cups red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Using fork, poke shallow holes in skin of squash then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and place it, cut-side down, in rimmed baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. To make pesto: In food processor, process 1/4 cup walnuts, garlic, basil, arugula, lemon juice and lemon zest until well chopped. Add remaining olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper; process until well blended.
  3. Once squash is done baking, remove from oven. Cool squash 5-10 minutes then, using fork, scrape inside flesh of squash, removing “spaghetti,” and place it in large bowl. Add pesto and beans to cooked squash and toss gently with tongs to combine. Divide equally into six bowls and top each with 1/4 cup grapes and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 7 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Source:  California Table Grape Commission

Holiday 09 November 2017

Perfect Wine Pairings for Holiday Parties

(Family Features) With the holidays quickly approaching, it is time to begin planning menus and shopping for groceries, which may leave you facing endless shelves of wine.  Choosing wines to pair with your holiday meal is an important part of the menu planning process.

A smart rule is to select quality wines that pair with a variety of dishes, such as crisp, medium-bodied chardonnays and medium-to-full-bodied, flavorful merlots.

“I love having a bright, crisp chardonnay on hand for holiday entertaining,” said Katie Madigan, winemaker at St. Francis Winery. “Chardonnay complements so many holiday flavors. It’s a great choice to serve with appetizers and it also transitions nicely to dinner.”

A certified sustainable winery in Sonoma County, California, St. Francis Winery offers a full range of varietal wines ideal for holiday entertaining, such as the St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay 2015 (SRP $16.99), which is made from grapes picked in the cool of night to create delicate aromas, crisp acidity and a rich, lingering finish.

With notes of fresh pear and pineapple, it pairs well with mild cheeses and rich seafood appetizers, such as Pan Fried Crab Cakes. If you are looking for inspiration to get your holiday menu planning started, consider this simple hors d’oeuvre, which can be made the night before and cooked just before guests arrive. Pair it with a chilled glass of crisp chardonnay to start the party off just right.

A complementary option for guests who prefer red wine is the Sonoma Valley Merlot (SRP $20.99). This wine has multiple layers of aromatics with flavors of red cherry, plum, dried cranberry, espresso bean and savory spices that match well with hard cheeses, roasted turkey, lamb or steaks with blue cheese butter. Find more tips for pairing wines and recipes ideal for holiday entertaining at StFrancisWinery.com.

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Pan Fried Crab Cakes

  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       cup minced green onions
  • 2          large egg yolks
  • 2          tablespoons fresh lemon juice  
  • 1          teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 1          teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1          tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          pound Dungeness crab meat
  • 2          cups panko, divided
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 4          tablespoons olive oil
  • Remoulade sauce, for serving
  1. Line baking sheet with waxed paper.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, green onions, egg yolks, lemon juice, tarragon, cilantro, mustard, lemon peel and black pepper. Add crabmeat and 1 cup panko, breaking up crabmeat slightly. Let mix stand 10 minutes.
  3. Form crab mixture into 16 2-inch patties, using about 1/4 cup for each cake. Place patties on baking sheet. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Using remaining panko, lightly coat each crab cake.
  4. Heat two heavy, large skillets over medium-high heat. In each skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add crab cakes to skillets and cook until golden on both sides (adding more butter and oil as needed), about 5 minutes total.
  5. Transfer cakes to napkins to drain excess oil. Plate crab cakes with dollop of remoulade on top.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Kobrand Wine and Spirits

Meal Ideas 28 April 2017

Greens and Grains

Add fresh produce to your diet and community

(Family Features) Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”

“Most of my adult clients who are not veggie lovers usually had little exposure to them growing up, or they just weren’t cooked properly,” Forberg said. “It’s important for parents to get their children involved in cooking, shopping and even gardening so kids can understand the journey from seed to plate.”

Forberg furthers her personal dedication to the seed-to-plate journey through her involvement with Seeds of Change, which invests in healthier and greener communities by offering both organic seeds and foods, and delivers an annual grant program that benefits school and community gardening as well as farming programs. This year, the grant program will award $310,000 to participants who plan to help their communities and teach people about sustainability and where fresh food comes from.

To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg offers four simple tips:

Start in the garden. This hands-on approach is a fun way to learn about nutrition and where food comes from. Following produce from seed to plate can compel you to eat more healthfully. Plant a garden at home or become involved in a local project nearby.

Opt for veggies with big impact. Richly colored veggies contain the richest supplies of nutrients. Opt for spinach or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce in your salads. Skip the celery or carrots and go for red bell pepper slices to deliver a healthy serving of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Make smart swaps. Replace the dense calories of pasta noodles with a flavorful cup of cooked spaghetti squash. The squash is a satisfying and tasty alternative with a mere 40 calories, 2 grams of fiber and loads of vitamins.

Pair with whole grains. Mashed potatoes may be a favorite dinner side, but there are more nutritious options to complement your garden produce, such as this grain bowl with wild salmon from Chef Seamus Mullen.

Learn more about starting a community garden and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.

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Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 8 wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 package Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice with Flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Salsa Verde (optional):

  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In oven-proof pan, season salmon with salt and pepper, and drizzle each fillet with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. In blender or food processor, combine all Salsa Verde ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated but still rustic and chunky. Set aside.
  4. In medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and asparagus and saute vigorously 3-5 minutes. Add grains and slivered almonds, and continue to saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Divide grains among eight plates, place a piece of salmon on each plate then finish with dollop of Salsa Verde, if desired, and serve.

Substitution: Shitake mushroom caps may be substituted with button mushrooms or other wild mushrooms.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Seeds of Change

Dessert 06 April 2017

Impressive Fruit Pies and Tarts Made Easy

(Family Features) Berry season means colors, tastes and aromas that are sure to please. With a variety of gorgeous fresh fruits at your fingertips, why not whip up a fabulous fruit pie or tart to surprise family or share with friends? From family dinners to spur-of-the-moment picnics, pies are easy to make and easy for family and friends to appreciate.

To save time in the kitchen, start with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts for a flaky, tender base. Just unroll it into your favorite pie plate or tart pan, spoon in a delicious fruit filling, bake and enjoy. Pillsbury has updated the packaging with a fresh, contemporary look and features a recipe for Perfect Apple Pie. For more delicious recipes, visit www.pillsbury.com/pie.

Make Crusts Extra Special

When making a top crust for pies, these tips can help you make them look extra special.
Glossy Upper Crust: Brush the dough with slightly beaten egg white (if desired, sprinkle with sugar, too) before baking.

Sweet Glazed Top: Brush the top pastry with a small amount of water, and sprinkle with granulated or coarse sugar before baking.

Pretty Cutouts: Cut shapes from the top crust with a canapé cutter or a knife before placing the top crust over the filling. With water or beaten egg, moisten the back of each cutout and set the design, moistened side down, on the crust.

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Perfect Apple Pie

8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours

Crust

  • 1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

Filling

  • 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
  2. In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch-wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.

Tip: Two cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling can be substituted for the filling.

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Lemon Raspberry Pie

8 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 3 hours 45 minutes


Crust

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans

Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice

Topping

  • 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 8-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 cups fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries without syrup, thawed, dried on paper towels
  • Mint sprigs, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare crust according to package directions for unfilled one-crust pie using 9-inch pie pan. Press pecans into bottom of pie crust-lined pan. Generously prick crust with fork. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
  2. In small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; blend well. Stir in water, margarine and egg yolk. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon extract until smooth. Beat in whipped topping at low speed until well blended. Add milk; mix until smooth and of spreading consistency. Spread thin layer of topping mixture around edge of crust. Reserve 4 raspberries for garnish. Arrange remaining raspberries over top of filling. Spread remaining topping over raspberries. Garnish with mint sprigs and reserved raspberries. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.

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Fresh Berry Cream Tart

8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours 55 minutes

Crust

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box

Filling

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
  • 4 cups assorted fresh whole berries (small strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries)
  • 1/3 cup red currant jelly, melted
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare pie crust as directed on package for one-crust baked shell using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
  2. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and liqueur; beat until smooth and well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly in cooled baked shell. Top with berries; brush berries with melted jelly to glaze. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Source: Pillsbury

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